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Thread: A Little Help? What camera equipment for canyon boating trip?

  1. #1
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    A Little Help? What camera equipment for canyon boating trip?

    Greetings everyone!

    I am jammed up loading for an Expedition Canyon Boating Run.

    Generally, this is an awesome environment at night as far as starry skies are concerned. Plenty of ground formations (I hope) to add to the exposure depending on where we stop to camp. I have checked the Lunar Calendar, tried to lay in some extra power supplies, and would like to try a timed star-trail shot. There will be no ground light pollution. Not sure about the Heavens. I am adding some extra adult beverages to keep me company while I attempt this.

    Have a remote, will do a lock-up, put a piece over the viewfinder, bag down my pod, try to make sure the physical conditions are right, hope for the best. Looking at doing my 17-50mm 2.8 open wide, trying to figure a focal point. I guess it will depend on what I see. I have done a couple of tests. Have done two 45 minute exposures on one battery. The second exposed well, but didn’t have enough battery to cycle (process) and failed. So I am thinking an hour or so exposure at most with in-camera processing.

    Yes, I had a lot of power running for noise reduction (in camera), etc. I am not sure what else I could do to reduce the power drain or even if I need to. But it is looking like one shot, one battery. For better or for worser.

    It wouldn’t be a thang if I were home and had access to the environment as well as recharging. I have to make sure I can shoot all my “vacation” stuff as well as this thing. And I have kind of been gunning for a chance for this for a while now.

    I know I need to figure this on my own. But I have asked for advice.

    So far? Here is the best I have received.

    1. Don’t leave your wallet in the truck for a week.
    2. Take raingear.
    3. Rattlers and scorpions like to snuggle up during the night.
    4. Terry, your check is in the mail.

    Jeez! I know how to live in the desert, and I am holding my breath for the check!

    But I will take any advice I can get for the shot I am looking at!

    And not only that, but any advice at all!

    Anyone? And Please?
    Last edited by Loose Canon; 30th June 2010 at 03:05 AM.

  2. #2
    benm's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Help?

    You have a few choices:

    a. Bring a lot of batteries.
    b. Use a film camera, especially an older model that does not require a battery. You already know more or less what exposure to use so preview is not that important.
    c. Bring a solar charger. How valuable this is depends on what you are doing during the day as they tend not to work well at night :-).

  3. #3
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Help?

    Here is something I do, when out in the field for more than a day. Coupled with a DC charger for your style of batteries, it works quite well.

    A Little Help? What camera equipment for canyon boating trip?

    A Little Help? What camera equipment for canyon boating trip?

    It does add a couple of pounds (<1 Kg) to your load, but you might find it usable. I'm 71 and I can carry this all day, while hiking about.

    To be honest, I don't have the DC charger for my Nikon batteries, yet, but it is on the list. I built this for my GPS unit. I ran out of batteries on that once, which is too often for my comfort.

    Pops
    Last edited by PopsPhotos; 30th June 2010 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Keyboard can't spell correctly

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    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Help?

    Thank you for the response and the advice, Ben and Pops.

    I wish I did have a nice ďmechanicalĒ silver halide burner for this. Iíd probably pull the trigger, go to bed, wake up before first light to shut it down. Use it as a second and do this every night I am in the Canyon. But I am going to have to somehow muddle through with what I have! I leave in a couple of days and wonít have the chance this time to look into a portable charger. But it looks pretty nice and that little extra weight would be negligible. Guess I should have asked sooner.

    I think Iíll set for manual focus, shut down the VC/IS depending on which lens I choose. I think Iíll leave the in-camera noise reduction enabled. Have a good flashlight in case there is an opportunity to do some ďpaintingĒ and to find my way back to camp, compose the shot before dark, wait until later at night to pull the trigger, hopefully avoid air traffic, hope for a couple of meteors burning through there, and let Ďer rip! Probably wonít have issues with dew, and definitely not cold weather. Iím thinking a low ISO and probably open the lens pretty wide. I have looked up the hyperfocals for my glass. Iíll have a compass on me to orient. Iíd like to shoot into Polaris, but may not have much choice if I find a nice foreground where I happen to be and have to settle for whatever orientation. I tried to Ďbone upĒ on my homework as much as I could before I came in here to ask for advice.

    Guess Iíll go the extra battery route this time, guys. Iíll probably only get one or two chances at it and the odds are probably against me. Who knows? Maybe if I get lucky and decide to pursue this kind of photography, the extra batteries may come in handy in the future. But one of the amazing things about this particular environment is the unbelievable stellar nights. It would be my first attempt at an exposure such as this and I figure Iíd be even crazier than how I am perceived to not take a shot at it. But even if I blow the shot, nothing is ever lost if you learn something and take that with you!

    Probably the best thing Iíll learn is not to wander around by myself out in the middle of the High Desert at night!

  5. #5
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Help?

    Wandering about in the High Desert at night is actually safer than in the daytime. I grew up in Southern Nevada and have hiked all over the tri-state area, day and night.

    I have one thing to add, if you insist wandering about in the day time: WATER

    Pops

  6. #6
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Help?

    Right on, Pops.

    Well said and appropriately capitalized!

    This is my trip and I am requiring two gals per person per day minimum for just a boating trip. And I'll also have my Trusty Filter with me as well.

    Not only are they required to have it, but required to drink everyday as well. Had one once that almost bit it from dehydration.

    It was less than fun.
    Last edited by Loose Canon; 30th June 2010 at 09:44 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: A Little Help?

    I did not understand that you are the director, or I would not have shouted quite so loud. I've been on both sides of the dehydration thing. It surprizes people that you can get just as dehydrated in the far North in Winter as in the deep desert in the Summer. Humidity in the single digits and hard work takes the water right out of you.

    What river, state, etc.

    Pops

  8. #8
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Help?

    I hope you shouted loud enough for my entire group to hear, Pops!

    They are actually a pretty experienced bunch of river runners for a change. We are putting in on the Green River in Utah. The Run is Labyrinth Canyon. We'll do approximately 45-50 river miles through the Canyon. Eight of us this time. I have maxed out the permits before at around 20 people. I'm still suffering from the terminal pains in the posterior that come with trying to launch an expedition-style trip with that many folks! But this is one of the most beautiful canyons going and worth it.

    In my opinion, you are probably more at risk of dehydration in the winter. A lot of times you might not even feel thirsty in the colder temps.

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